Women’s IHL Round One (Saturday fixtures):
Pembroke scored twice in the closing quarter to succeed where many have come away empty-handed as they snatched a draw against Ballymoney at the Joey Dunlop Centre, a more than useful two points to begin this year’s IHL campaign.
The hosts had bossed the opening stages and built up a 2-0 lead by three-quarter time from Diane McNeill’s deflection and Laura Mullan’s tap-in following a fine advanatge played by the umpire.
But Aoife Sherriff cracked in Pembroke’s third corner of the day to give Pembroke a lifeline and, straight from the restart, the Ballsbridge club went straight up the pitch to win anothe corner. This time round, Shona Doyle was the striker to tie the game up at 2-2 to guarantee two points for each side.
Cork Harlequins, though, seized the early initiative in Pool A as they took a bonus point win from their home tie with city rivals Cork C of I. Karen Bateman’s corner and goals from Leslie Ann Daunt and Jane Bourke had the Farmer’s Cross hosts cruising before Cathy Kenefick’s deflection gave CI a glimmer of hope. Bateman extinguished any such hopes, however, with Quins’ fourth, four minutes from time.
In Pool B, UCC had a debut day to remember as they put Randalstown to the sword with a 4-0 wipe-out of Randalstown. Audrey O’Flynn’s corner triple was the catalyst before Fiona O’Connell added the icing in the last five minutes.
Pool A: Ballymoney 2 (Diane McNeill, Laura Mullen) Pembroke 2 (Aoife Sherriff, Shona Doyle); Cork Harlequins 4 (Karen Bateman 2, Leslie-Ann Daunt, Jane Bourke) Cork C of I 1 (Cathy Kenefick)
Pool B: UCC 4 (Audrey O’Flynn 3, Fiona O’Connell) Randalstown 0